Business & Economy

Dangerous toys 2015: ‘Trouble in Toyland’ report finds hazards on store shelves

An image from a CalPIRG report warning of dangerous toys.
An image from a CalPIRG report warning of dangerous toys.
CalPIRG

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund has released its 30th annual “Trouble in Toyland” survey of dangerous toys on the market and 22 toys made the list.

Out of hundreds of toys PIRG surveyed, they found potential choking and noise hazards, one toy that exceeded federal toxic standards, and three toys that preliminary testing showed may exceed federal standards.

Several toys on the list were from Target, including the classic Slinky Jr. Other vendors with toys on the list include Marshalls, Dollar Tree and Party City.

Substances found in this year’s list of toys include chromium, which can cause severe allergic reactions such as skin redness, swelling, and ulcers; and phthalates, exposure to which during crucial stages of development may harm development of the male reproductive system, and is linked to early puberty, according to PIRG.

Tips for parents who want to avoid buying dangerous toys

• Shop with U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Toy Safety Tips, available at toysafetytips.org

• Examine toys carefully for hazards before purchase – and don’t trust that they are safe just because they are on a store shelf

• Report unsafe toys or toy-related injuries to the CPSC at www.saferproducts.gov.

• Subscribe to government announcements of recalled products at www.recalls.gov

• Remember, toys on our list are presented as examples only. Other hazards may exist.

Precautions for toys you already own

• Remove small batteries if there is any question over their security or inaccessibility and keep them out of reach of children

• Remove batteries from, or tape over, the speakers of toys you already own that are too loud

• Put small parts, or toys broken into small parts, out of reach. Regularly check that toys appropriate for your older children are not left within reach of children who still put things in their mouths.